Things you see at Wal*mart

I was passing down the isle in Walmart and caught a glimpse, RCA Digital TV Converter + Recorder. Mostly just noticed tv converter at first. I just walked past pallets of reasonable TVs for under $100, who/why would anyone still use one of these!? Then I realized it’s a DVR as well - WTF?

Any one ever record digital HD programing and convert it for analog playback?

That’s not the only one. Here’s an Ematic AT103B, it highlights it LED display.
When looking at OTA DVRs I guess I never looked that low level. Just wondering if these provide any beneficial function?
By now you you’ve gotten you money from your tube tv, HD TVs are rather cheap (and the cheap ones are real cheap).
Do people still watch square TVs? Do people still uses a converter box for OTA (regularly)?
Would someone want to record digital programs with these things? Neither offer an explanation to it’s capacity or requirments.

. …just wondering about some Off Topic stuff :neutral_face:


These converter boxes are good DVRs. Some of us here use the Homeworx ones. The iViews are good as well. In fact the Homeworx has a better tuner than the Tablo and records in mpg2 for best PQ. I use it to record sports programming because mpg2 is best for fast action sports. So yes they do have a beneficial function - also as backups to the Tablo. At $30 or so, a great bargain. Walmart oversells them by $20.

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Thanks for some input. I realize different needs for different folks. At times I often feel dated here having been using an antenna for 30+ yrs and thought cut cord was a clean cut without being wired. I wonder how many ever had a converter box?

Yes, they are ridiculously inexpensive and appear to have a HDMI output. So, not so much for the digital to analog but have adequate DVR capabilities.

I installed an antenna for my next door neighbor. He had an expensive analog TV he wouldn’t part with. So I got him a converter box just for that one TV.

They are great for recording one channel on one tv. Also great starter for a new cord cutters. Only problem is I have never seen any for under $60 in my area (OKLAHOMA). To me they should be $40 or less, (not $60+).

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I’ve gotten some mileage out of a cheapie Homeworx, which I learned much about in these forums (thanks @MarkKindle).

For reasons unexplained, Walmart has tons of these solutions (and tons of Android boxes) more than Best Buy, Frys or anyone else. Those eMatics have something of a cult following, you can find some good info and real-life usage details on youtube.

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Walmart has the Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities for $36.09 with HDMI out.

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These crazy, cheap little boxes work. Here’s an example of an Ematic, to include manual search & tune for a specific channel and more:

At their website Walmart also sells online only the Homeworx and iView units for $30.

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I’ve seen them at Walmart. Bought mine at a Fry’s Electronics in Las Vegas, after having seen them on the Walmart page.

How big is the Fry’s in Vegas? The one they built here in Atlanta is huge. I can lose myself in it for an entire Saturday.

It’s huge. About the same size as the Seattle store, the restaurant / cafe might be a little bigger. I’ve never gone into a Frys and come out empty handed, I can spend several hours in there.

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Years ago in Dallas, most of the market was to the Hispanic population. This was because analog TV’s were almost free. After the government stopped susbiizing the cost of converters, they went to over $80 for awhile. I gave away my last analog/converter combo about 6 years ago. It is still in use. It replaced an old analog that had spotty reception.

Ok, I watched the youtube video. Again, convert box is what initially got my attention. It’s bare-bones basic DVR, but looks like it can get the job done, confined to single TV. It stays full HD via HDMI!
It reminds me a bit of modern VCR (without the tape) with it’s rudimentary functions. Are the recording ‘portable’?

Maybe it has to do with Walmart’s demographic market… if you’ve ever seen the various ‘people you see at Walmart’ type websites[*].

[*] I accept people are people and everyone is their own unique individual, free the live their life as needed. Yet if you exaggerate the boundaries of social acceptability (what ever that means) and provide live entertainment… well, we may take notice

The recordings are portable. They are in the mpg2 (.TS) format. I detach my USB drive from the Homeworx and attach it to a PC to get the recordings off the drive into the PC.

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I’m speculating it’s a FAT32 format? My TV can play mpeg directly from USB. So you could, possibly, swap devices to watch on a second TV? (video referred to USB flash)
This would be a PITA, but cheap, quick’n dirty way to get things done.

Yes, it’s a FAT32 disk format. However my Roku can’t play mpg2 so I use Handbrake to convert it to MP4. My LG TV can read mpg2.

You have to be careful with the files. Because FAT32 has a limit of file size (4 GB), a Homeworx breaks up the file into two segments usually. An hour mpg2 file is about 7 GB.

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Well stated, agreed.

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